Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Disease Markers
Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 3–9
Review Article

Biomarkers in Schizophrenia: A Brief Conceptual Consideration

1School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
2Neuroscience Research Australia, Hospital Road, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
3Schizophrenia Research Institute, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia
4Georgia Regents University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

Received 1 April 2013; Accepted 16 April 2013

Academic Editor: Daniel Martins-de-Souza

Copyright © 2013 Cynthia S. Weickert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Biomarkers have been sought after in the field of schizophrenia research for decades. In this paper, we discuss some of the concepts around developing biomarkers in an effort to understand why the use of biomarkers for schizophrenia has not been realized. In particular, we address the following 4 questions. Why would we need a diagnostic biomarker for schizophrenia? How is a biomarker typically defined and how does that influence the discovery of biomarkers in schizophrenia? What is the best use of biomarkers in schizophrenia? Do any biomarkers for schizophrenia currently exist? Thus, while we suggest that no biomarker currently exists for schizophrenia, the heterogeneity associated with schizophrenia will most likely need to be taken into account which will result in multiple biomarkers that identify the multiple underlying pathophysiological processes involved in schizophrenia. Therefore, much additional work will be required prior to obtaining any well-established biomarkers for schizophrenia.